Nine New Members Inducted into Lambda Alpha Beta

Academics, News

The Lee University Anthropology National Honor Society recently inducted nine members, including Joy Carrigan, Michael Dillinger, Lindsey Johnson, Alanna Jolley, Emmalyne Karnes, Keller Neighbors, Ashley Sims, Jenna Veasman, and Dillon Wheeler.

“These new inductees exemplify the intellectual verve and scholastic strengths that have sustained a tradition of academic excellence in Lee’s anthropology program,” said Alan Wheeler, lecturer in anthropology at the university.

Established in 1968, the purpose of the Lambda Alpha Honor Society for anthropology is to acknowledge and reward academic excellence. The Lee University chapter is actually Lambda Alpha Beta, the second anthropology society established in Tennessee after the first anthropology honors chapter at Vanderbilt University.

“The large number of our anthropology majors who are members of Lambda Alpha is a reflection of our students’ overall excellent academic performance both in the classroom and in research activities,” said Dr. Richard Jones, coordinator of Lee’s anthropology program. “We are pleased that so many of our students are eligible for membership.”

Natalie Schutz, a preexisting member of Lambda Alpha, was named the Anthropology Discipline Award recipient for 2021 during the induction. She will recognized for this award at a special Honors Chapel next month and at a luncheon held by the Behavioral and Social Sciences Department.

The name Lambda Alpha is composed of the initial letters of the Greek words “logos” an d “Anthropos” (Λογος and Ανθροποσ), meaning the study of humankind. Lambda Alpha supports scholarship and research by acknowledging and honoring superior achievement for students in the discipline of anthropology through membership in the society and through the annual awarding of student scholarships, research grants, and student paper prizes.

Presently, Lee University anthropology alumni are enrolled in a number of graduate programs including the University of Cambridge, Yale, University of Kentucky, University of Texas at Dallas, University of Tennessee, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Vanderbilt, and University of Maryland.

Anthropology majors are required to complete at least one course in archaeological, biological, cultural, and linguistic anthropology. Area studies courses are offered in China, Inner Asia, Latin America, Middle East, and Southwest Native Americans.

A collection of essays written by Lee anthropology alumni reflecting on their training and present careers has just been published in a new book. A free copy of the volume, titled “Anthropology from the Heart,” can be obtained by contacting Dr. Murl Dirksen at

PHOTO: The Lambda Alpha inductees are pictured here with anthropology professors Alan Wheeler, Dr. Richard Jones, and Dr. Murl Dirksen. Shown (left to right) are Wheeler, Ashley Sims, Jones, Natalie Schutz, Jenna Veasman, Lindsey Johnson, Keller Neighbors, Dirksen, and Michael Dillinger. (not pictured are Joy Carrigan, Alanna Jolley, Emmalyne Karnes, and Dillon Wheeler)

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